Thursday, November 5, 2015

Falling Through the Changes

With the summer growing season behind us, we look to the future of the garden.  

My son and I headed to the garden center to pick up some seeds for next year, wondering what Mother Nature has in store for us.

A large El Nino is headed our way, will that cure the drought? Will water rationing end next year? What should we plan on?

While we ponder those questions, we still have a fall and winter garden season ahead of us, which we think about as we do a sprinkler line inspection.

The roses aren't looking good but that's because we let them go over the fall to build their strength for next season.

It's the season of citrus and soon we'll be harvesting our citrus.

After that, it'll be time to prune the roses and till the ground for next year's food.

Stay tuned!

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Hanging Judge

I've got a line of annuals in baskets hanging outside of our laundry room. There's also a dendrobium orchid but the rest have died off. 

The green you see is weeds of oxalys growing in their place. The metal frames have also rusted through, so it's time to toss 'em.

Since each basket also has a dripper on our drip irrigation system, I need to plug them so the water isn't wasted just flowing onto the patio.

It can be hard work pulling the crusted up drippers off of the hose but I finally get them.

I have some plugs that I stick in to plug the holes.  Come spring, I can plant some new baskets and put the drippers back in.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Price of Beauty

A well-trimmed tree is a work of art. My neighbor has hers pruned every couple of years by her gardener.  This weekend, the crew showed up and did their magic.

The Japanese elm looks magnificent. Feathery, open, airy, without looking chopped.

The next morning, however, I go out to my patio and see this.  Seems like my walkway bore a bit of the brunt of their work.

No worries...when the gardener showed up for his regular Wednesday mow and trim, I pointed it out. He was over with a leaf blower immediately afterward.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It's Dragon Season

Eh, well we still got a few fruit from this plant in the corner. 

Now the question is, is this the last harvest of the summer or the first harvest of the winter?


Monday, October 5, 2015


Tomatoes are annual plants. At least they're supposed to be. I look out the laundry room window and I see that the hanging cherry tomato plant is gone.

I go out to uproot it but...what's this?...there are some new green leaves coming out.

Instead of uprooting it, I give it a haircut.

All the dead trimmed away, let's give it a chance to come back.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Parasols of Summer

You can tell it's summer on the Cheapskate's patio when the umbrellas are out.  It's a necessary accommodation where the peak temperatures can reach 110 degrees or more.

You can also tell when summer is over and the umbrellas come down.

This was that weekend as we start the transition from summer gardening to fall and winter preparation. 

Then we'll do it all again...


Wednesday, September 23, 2015


In my seemingly never ending quest to use all of our tomatoes, this week I made some guacamole.

I could have asked my neighbor for a couple avocados but since I was thinking about this while I was at the store, I took the easy way out and bought a couple of Haas avocados, some green onions, and a lemon. I probably could have used a homegrown onion but I used it last week on another meal and don't have another.

This tomato...

...and these chiles, however, came straight from the garden.

It's a pretty easy recipe, first dice up the tomato.  Take the dead skin off of two whole green onions, along with the roots. Chop it all up into 1 inch pieces.

Put the onions and the chile...I've got a very small Anaheim chile, a Thai chili, and a few serrano chiles..into a food processor and chop up into fine mixture of little cubes.

Scoop out the avocados into a bowl, add the tomatoes, and mash up like mashed potatoes. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and another of salt.  Squeeze lemon juice over everything and add the onion and chile mixture.

Add half and half or heavy cream to give a creamy taste and texture. Stir thoroughly and add salt and cream sparingly to taste.

When done, we add it to our tacos, as shown at the top. You can also use it as a very tasty dip for your tortilla chips.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved